Tomorrow we arrive at our first port in Africa, Walvis Bay, Namibia. As we have spent 8 days crossing the Atlantic I thought you might be interested in a few photos and words covering those days. The crossing has been great. The weather has been “partly cloudy”, temperature around 72 degrees during the day, sea calm, and the only inconvenience has been the loss of time. Every day or every other day we lost an hour, but in order not to affect us so much (not lose an hours sleep), the ship changed the clocks at 2 in the afternoon. It’s the first time we have experienced time change in the afternoon, and I have to say that if you have to lose an hour, it seems to be easier losing it during the day. OK, on to the photos.
In the photo album above titled “Crossing the Atlantic” you first see a panoramic picture of the port of Montevideo from the ship as we sail off onto the Atlantic. In the second photo you get a look from our dining room table of the beautiful, calm (thank goodness) Atlantic. That’s the view we have had for 8 days and you can’t believe how relaxing it’s been. The third photo shows you the fog looking across the upper deck of the ship. At least two mornings we woke to fog and the eerie fog horn sounding every three minutes. I have some great videos of all this which, again, I hope to show you later on in the cruise. Now to move to the shipboard life, we met right away (at the blackjack table) a man and his wife, Sergio and Trish, who invited us to dinner one night. The fourth photo shows the four of us at the dinner table. Sergio was born in Italy and moved to Venezuela when he was very young. He met and married Trish when she was a student of his in college (he taught journalism). They had three children who are now grown up, but now comes the sad story. For the last several years they saw their country, with Chavez taking over, going to ruins. They begin preparing to leave by moving their children to Canada and the US, then selling their home and possessions. Two months ago, with only six suitcases, they moved to Buenos Aires temporarily until they could decide finally where they would live. They took this long cruise to try and relax and, again decide their next move. They are two wonderful people and although their story is sad (people without a country), they seem to be happy and are a pleasure to be with. The fifth photo, with Susy lying on the floor, is a picture of the “Spanish Speaking Group”. The group had a tea the other day, and will have other get- together(s) during the cruise. The sixth photo shows Susy at the entrance to the dining room on Valentine’s Day. It was the first day the dining room was “theme” decorated, and the seventh photo shows it from above. The eighth photo shows the dance floor (the stage of the Ocean Theater) for the Valentine’s Day Ball that evening. I have to stop here for a little story. The Cruise Director (of entertainment & activities) is a man named Bruce, who was the Cruise Director on the Amsterdam when we took the Pacific Cruise. He judged us as the “Most Romantic Couple” on that cruise. Well here we are back at the Valentine Ball, dancing with Bruce as the judge again, but this time we didn’t win. Afterwards Susy went up to Bruise and said “I’m sorry Bruce but we just can’t sail again on the Amsterdam if you won’t let us win a bottle of Champagne”. Bruce got the message and we all got a big laugh. The next day, was Tuesday, Feb. 16th or Mardi Gras, so we had two celebrations in a row. In the ninth photo you see Susy with a waiter dressed in a Mardi Gras costume. In the tenth photo you see Susy and I at the dining room entrance. The dining room was decorated in vivid colors and there was another dance after the evening show. After every dinner there is a show and the eleventh photo shows a quick shot of the evening show (no photos are allowed). Every night is a different performer, and this shot is of the ships Dancers and Singers who put on a full review about once a week. In the last photo (12th) you see the end of another day aboard. Again, the crossing was great; Susy says it has to be the best part of the cruise, eight days of fun (plenty of Blackjack) , and relaxation. Life is tough, but we all have to live it.
On to Africa, Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)